10 tips for going green

There are rising concerns about chemical ingredients in beauty products. Combined with increasing pressure to differentiate yourself from the competition, going green could prove a wise business decision.

Here are PB’s 10 steps to making you spa more eco friendly:

  1. Look for the label The Soil Association oversees organic produce in the UK, and beauty products bearing their symbols will have undergone rigorous checks, so you can guarantee they’re organic. Alternatively, COSMOS is standardising regulation of organic and natural skincare across Europe.
  2. Mood lighting Turning off the lights when you leave a room is a given. Try using candles as your exclusive light source during massages and facial treatments, and in your relaxation room, to create a tranquil ambiance as well as saving electricity.
  3. Green print Between marketing and treatment menus, beauty businesses use a considerable amount of paper. Find yourself an eco-friendly printing service that uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper and vegetable ink.
  4. Play the part Kirstie Allen, director of Pink’s Boutique organic skincare, says that clients respond well to seeing a natural, raw ingredient being used in a treatment. “In a manicure, we’ll use a fresh, organic lime to scrub and clean the nails,” she says. “Or we’ll use tea leaves in the bowl when a client’s having a foot soak during a facial, and serve them a pot of the same flavour tea.”
  5. Go local The Scarlet eco-hotel and spa in Cornwall uses organic soaps in the bathrooms sourced from a small, cottage producer close to the business. It doesn’t carry a Soil Association accreditation, as the company is too small to afford it, but sourcing so close to home significantly cuts down on the carbon footprint.
  6. Green clean There’s no point using organic beauty products on a client’s skin if the linen, couches, sideboards or coffee cups that they touch have been cleaned with a non-organic cleaner. Bentley offers housekeeping products with a Soil Association certification, such as washing up liquid and surface cleaner, and Simply Gentle offers organic cotton wool pads for use in facials.
  7. It’s all material Allen recommends using sarongs to cover beds and clients instead of towels, as they consume less energy to wash and dry. You can always use extra blankets over the top to keep clients warm if you need to.
  8. Outsides in Living walls are great for generating oxygen, but they’re unlikely to be a practical or hygienic option in a treatment room. Try adding a few plants to the treatment rooms instead – a kentia palm is a hardy indoor favourite, and a crab cactus can add a touch of vibrant colour.
  9. Top tipple Try to stock food and drinks that are produced locally to reduce food miles. This isn’t possible with everything – you’ll never find a British coffee for example – in which case make sure the products you’re buying in are fair trade.
  10. Shabby chic You need a lot of furniture to kit out your salon or spa – not just massage couches but tables, sideboards, mirrors and stools too. Try to track a restored furniture seller, to reduce the environmental impact of this, or look for suppliers that use FSC approved wood.